Why this book?
“All women together ought to let flowers fall on the tomb of Aphra Behn... in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” The first professional woman writer in England, best known for her scandalous stage comedies during the reign of Charles II, Behn ended her career with a hard-hitting novel about slavery and rebellion in colonial Suriname. It may not be true, as she says when dedicating Oroonoko (1688) to a Scottish nobleman, that “I writ it in a few hours.” But there’s real urgency to Behn’s narrative as she deplores the fate of her enslaved hero, an African prince she likens to “a lion taken in a toil,” while also sounding the alarm about regime change back home in England.
Why should I read it?
1 author picked Oroonoko as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
'We are bought and sold like apes or monkeys, to be the sport of women, fools, and cowards, and the support of rogues . . .'
Spy, traveller and pioneering female writer Aphra Benn's story of an African prince sold into slavery is considered one of the earliest English novels